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T I M O N,


On peut long' temps, chez notre espece,

Fermei' la porte a la raison ;
Mais, des qu'elle entie avec adresse,

EUe reste dans la maison,
Et bientot elle en est maitresse.









Some books are written for our learning —
others for our amusement — and here and there,
we have one that is written for both purposes.
It is with the latter that the present volumes
aspire to be ranked.

Children — and men and women with the
minds of children — are pleased only with a plot
which keeps their curiosity in play, and with
adventures which apply to theu' fancy and their
feelings, but which, when they come to the
end, leave theu* heads no wiser, and their
hearts no better than before. It is even well if
they are not worse. To this class of readers
these volumes are not dedicated —

To whom then ?

To Yor ! — provided you are among the few,
that, in reading, do not consider all thought to
be superfluous — but not otherwise.

T I M O N,


The earth is a melanclioly map, as delineated
by our moral geographers. The world grows
worse and worse — such has been the lamentation
from the beginning of time, and so will it be to
the end thereof. Some, indeed, there are, who
will have it that the march of intellect is not a
dead march ; the advancement of knowledge,
they say, may be retarded, but, silently and un-
seen, it works its way onward ; and will brin g

VOL. 1. B


US, sooner or later, to where we ought to be.
Whether the intellectual and moral progress of
mankind will keep pace with each other, is a
question beyond the depth of our sagacity to
fathom .

Such was the substance of a remark which
had been just made by Frank Delamere, in a
conversation with his friend Edward Clavering,
on the signs of the times.

" It is a question about which there cannot be
two opinions," was Clavering's reply ; " knaves
and apostates — political and rehgious — are
coeval with the race of man; and let wisdom
make what advance it may, they will continue to
multiply and replenish the earth as long as its
atoms hold together."

" My good Mend," said Delamere, throwing
himself carelessly on the sofa, " vu'tue, in your
philosophy, sits enthroned on an inaccessible
pinnacle ; and man is not made to chmb such a
feai'fal eminence. Lofty souls may, now and
then, reach the summit, but the majority "

" Will be all their lives crawling round the
base," interrupted Clavering ; " except when


the pressure of pride, or the sting of ambition,
makes them struggle for elevation ; — and when
obtained, what use do they make of it but to
trample the feeble under their feet ?"

" The first empty tub of handsome dimen-
sions, my dear Clavering, that I can procure,
shall be yours," said Delamere, with his ani-
mated smile ; " your handsome figure would be-
come it much better than Diogenes ever did.
It will be the abode of a noble spirit ; you may
turn it upside down and lecture from it, as from
the stronghold of freedom ; — and, forthwith,
you will transform ministers into patriots, and
rogues into honest men."

*^ If you could inoculate me with your love of
the ludicrous, I should feel inclined to make the

" Nothing so easy," rejoined Delamere ;
" man, as we all know, is the most pliant and
improveable of all animals. See to what a state
of moral perfection he has been already brought
by the preaching of bishops, priests, and dea-
cons, in the short space of ten centuries. This
shows what may be done by a diligent and



exemplary church establishment. We^ in return,
have put up our prayers for them .; and, behold,
what an endowment of knowledge, wisdom, and
understanding they display ! — what samples they
exhibit of christian humility ! — what an indiffer-
ence to the riches of this world ! — what cai'eless-
ness about all that is corruptible by moth and
rust ! — to what can all this be ascribed but to our
weekly petitions, which keep their virtues, like
the banyan tree, in a perpetual state of repro-
duction ?"

" You have an enviable talent of description,

" Take it, my dear Clavering, if it is worth
anything, for a portion of your misanthropy."

" Indeed, my dear friend, I am far from being
a misanthrope. No one is more wilHng than I
am to have a favourable opinion of mankind,
and I take no small pains to arrive at it ; but,
after all, I cannot help coming to the same con-
clusion with the fisherman in Pericles. ' I
marvel !' says his mate, ' how the fishes live in
the sea V ' Why,' answers his companion, ^ as
men do on land — the great ones eat up the little

> '>


" He was a witty and a wise fisherman, that
made the answer/' repHed Delamere. " It is a
truth worthy of the Society for the Diffusion of
Useful Knowledge. But when was it other-
wise ? When did power ever practise forbear-
ance, when the pubhc purse was within its
reach ? For what were great offices created but
as a helping hand for putting the wages of those
who labour, into the pockets of those who neither
toil nor spin ? A voice is now and then raised
that denounces all this evil-doing ; but it is the
voice of one crying in the wilderness, that never
malies the world wiser. But you quarrel with
the fabric of poHshed society. You have no
reverence for its Corinthian capital. You love
the simplicity of the Christian church, and have
no taste for the curtained festoonery, the lawn
sleeves, and the purple and fine linen. You
dwell with emphasis on the rights of the people,
but you make no account of the prerogatives of
the monarch, and the rights of the mighty of
the land. You pass these over as if they were
the dust of the balance, or things of shadow,
that had no real existence."


" Nor have they. When I speak of popular
rights, I refer to those which are common to
man as man."

" Have kings and nobles, then, no natural
rights?" asked his friend, with well-affected

" As kings and nobles, none," replied Cla-
vering. " They have duties which attach to
their station, but exclusive rights they manifestly
cannot have. To make this clear, we need only
look to the relation of guardian and ward. The
property of the ward is placed under the pro-
tection of the guardian. His education, his
moral wants, and whatever relates to his present
happiness and his future well-being, is submitted
to the same provident superintendence. To
have his property duly secured — his mind fairly
instructed — and his morals well trained — these
are natural rights of the ward, as having their
origin in natural justice. They arise out of
the relative duties of the guardian, which de-
volved upon him on his accepting the respon-
sible office with which he is clothed. But what
rights has he in the capacity of guardian ? His


office is in the nature of a trust for securing the
rights of another, and can give birth to none
that are personal. Just so it is with the sove-
reign, and with all the recognized orders and
authorities in the state. The welfare of the na-
tion is committed to their guardianship ; and the
instant they are appointed to that trust, they are
bound to the honest fulfilment of all the obliga-
tions that go along with it. But to speak of a
trusteeship as conferring rights, and those rights
as being superior to, and separate from, those of
the body for whose benefit the trust was created,
is sheer sophistry."

" Most unacceptable reasoning this to the
rulers ' by the grace of God,' " said Delamere.

" All the abuses by which nations have been
oppressed," continued Clavering, " have grown
out of privileges and prerogatives, which,
usurped at first, have been gradually fortified,
till, meeting with no efiectual resistance, they
have become a part of the established order of
things ; and in the progress of time they have
assumed the shape and character of rights ; and
whoever has ventured to bring their legitunacy


into doubt, has been replied to by an ex-officio
information, and refuted by fine and imprison-

" All this is true, Clavering ; I admit it in
sober sadness ; and I prophesy that, before a
hundred years shall have passed over your head,
one of two things will happen ; either the world
will be brought to think as you do, or you will
cease to care for its conversion. As for me, I
am of opinion with Lavater, that the laws of our
nature are in the lines of our faces ; and that, as
he truly says, to force a man to think and feel
lil^e me, is equal to forcing him to have my
exact forehead and nose. I 'wdsh, by the way,
that those who framed the thirty-nine articles
had been aware of this truth ; what a countless
number of consciences would have been spared
from overthrow, and what light would have shed
itself over our learned universities !"

Here a loud rap at the door sent its echoes
through the hall, and the servant announced Sir
Felix Clavering. The Baronet bowed T\'ith
grave formality to Delamere, and shook hands in
a manner scarcely less formal with his son.


Something had manifestly occurred to discom-
pose his usual serenity. The cause was no other
than the resolutions carried at a Marylebone
meeting for the repeal of the assessed taxes,
which had arrived wet from the press to the
Conservative Club, of which he is a most dis-
tinguished and zealous member. The Keform
ministry itself had been severely taken to task.
It had been shown that indignant as they had
professed to be, when out of office, at the con-
tinuance of these taxes beyond the war period
for which they were imposed, they had not only
resisted their repeal, but had caused the elective
franchise to depend upon their payment within
a time Hmited ; thus, at once, attacking the in-
dustrious portion of the people, who were least
able to struggle with the public burthens, and
making those burthens the medium of defraud-
ing them of their political rights.

" It is monstrous," said the Baronet, " to see
the revenue shattered and despoiled at the will
of the mob. We want the firmness and promp-
titude of the Duke at the head of the govern-
ment. His summary mode of dealing with the



discontented is what the time calls for. The
timid and conceding policy of Lord Althorpe
will bring the country to ruin."

" Lord Althorpe is, I think, so far excusable,"
said his son, " that he has conceded nothing
which he could safely refuse. He has always
manifested a disposition to withhold till the
surrender was unavoidable. The necessities of
the people "

'^ Have existed," interposed the Baronet,
" and must exist under all governments ; the
people must be taught to bear them ; and they
will bear them when they are not goaded to
resistance by the enemies of all order, that will
neither eat their own bread in peace, nor let
others do so."

^* Passive obedience is a small price to pay for
the privilege of having bread to eat ; and they
ought, therefore, to eat it with thankfulness,"
said Delamere, in a tone of equivocal gravity.

The Baronet, without heeding the remark,
or rather, without appealing to heed it, conti-
nued : — ^' If we are to go on as we have been
going on for these last ten years, the ruling


powers in the nation will be found among the
leaders of political unions ; and every bearded
radical will claim a voice in the dictatorship.
The operative classes, from their number and
combination in the large manufacturing towns,
exercise an influence over the acts and delibe-
rations of government, which utterly upsets our
whole political system. The elements of revo-
lution are everywhere at work, and the utter
disappearance of that ascendancy which has
hitherto kept everything in its place, will be the
sure result. Kings, nobles, the mitred clergy,
all the privileged functionaries of church and
state, will di*ift to the wall, and ' unwashed
artificers ' will be our lawgivers and our masters.
This is what a radical reform will bring us to,
and to nothing better."

" It will be a fearful consummation," said
Delamere ; '^ we seem to be, to all appearance,
fast returning to the state described by Lear, in
which we shall ' owe the worm no silk, the
beast no hide, and the sheep no wool.'"

The face of Sir Fehx assumed an ultra-serious
cast, which his son observing, diverted the dis-


course into another channel. This was Edward's
first visit to his friend since he had removed to
his present apartments in Stanhope Street.
Delamcre had several choice pictures, which
decorated his drawing-room, among which was
an admirable portrait of Voltaire. It repre-
sented that extraordinary man in the iron-grey-
stockings which he usually wore, with a waist-
coat down to his knees, and laced ruffles reaching
to his fingers' ends. The eagle expression of
his eye was given with admirable effect. Edward
observed, " that it seemed actually to radiate
the canvass ;" and spoke warmly in praise of the

The same object introduces very different
trains of thought, according to the character and
present temper of the indi^-iduals to whom it
presents itself. The contemplation of Voltaire's
portrait brought to the mind of Delamere the
recollection of the effect produced by his writ-
ings in enlightening the age in which he lived ;
how much he had done towards extending that
freedom of thought which had silently trained
the minds of Frenchmen to manhood, and had


mainly influenced that revolution wliich has
changed the face of the world.

Edward Clavering was. viewing the portrait
phrenologically. The forehead, and its intel-
lectual developements, absorbed his whole atten-
tion. He contemplated it as a head, forgetful
at the moment of the philosopher of Ferney ;
and regarded only its mental manifestations^
with reference to his favourite science. " How
finely enlai-ged above the temple ! — the energy
of the perceptive faculties how striking ! — and
causality how full and well defined !" This was
said in an under tone of soliloquy ; but with the
enthusiasm, nevertheless, of a true disciple.

Sir Felix did not disregard the soliloquy, but
he heard it mthout a comment. The very name
of Voltaii'e excited in him, at all times, a senti-
ment of abhorrence. Could any feeling of hatred
have been superadded to that sentiment, the pic-
ture before him would have produced it. One
eff'ect, however, it produced ; it gave him occa-
sion to thank God that he had never read his
works ; a fact which bore evidence to Iris fitness
to pass judgment upon them. In truth, it was


a rule with the Baronet never to look into the
works of any writer that held opinions opposite
to his own. He never exposed his creed —
whether in poHtics or religion — to the danger of
being shaken by the disturbance which opposite
opinions might excite. He was like the tra-
veller who, while moving along the passes of
the Alps, treads them in silence, lest the agita-
tion of the air should bring down a snow-drift
that might overwhelm him. In a word, he was
a faithful worshipper of the constitution in chui'ch
and state, and had no toleration for any one that
was not of the household.

Edward, who had made an engagement with
Delamere to a morning concert, now looked at
his watch ; and Sir Felix, whose carriage had
been waiting upwards of an hour, took his leave,
to attend an appointment in Downing Street.



The reader will already have perceived that
the mind of Sir Felix and of his son were manu-
factured of different materials. A knowledge
of the laws of propagation is infinitely more va-
luable than an acquaintance with all the laws of
poUtical economy that ever were laid down by its
teachers, from Malthus to Harriet Martineau.

That the infant at its birth is a plastic creature,
to be moulded as we please, whether for good
or evil, is about as true as that a young plant
may be made to bring forth what flowers we
please, whether tulips or marsh-mallows. " Just
as the twig is bent, the tree's inclined," is a pro-
verb that formerly figured in all the copy-books
of our youth; and we have accordingly, most


of US, grown up in the belief of it ; but there
is nothing that is so apt to beguile our reason as
a metaphor, which, being true in itself, we re-
ceive as true in its application. The infant mind
is no more to be compared in flexibility to a twig,
than in firmness to a flint-stone. According as is
the structure of the brain, so will be the distinc-
tive character and temperament through life.

Education will do much, no doubt — infinitely
more, indeed, than the majority of us imagine —
but it will not do everything. The teacher can
only work with the instruments that are put into
his hands. You may train the foal for a racer ;
but if in the sinew and the muscle, the set of
the shoulder and the height of the pastern — if
in these, and other pre -requisites, he is not
framed for it, no training can fit him for the

Every sportsman that prides himself upon his
stud, knows well the pains he has taken to
confirm their pedigree. His first care has
been to ascertain whether nature has fiu'nished
the proper qualities. This point settled, he pro-
ceeds to give them all the improvement of which


they are susceptible. He knows that the breed
on both sides is everything ; and that no disci-
phne will make a courser of a cart-horse. The
indefatigable German can teach the bullfinch to
pipe any popular air ; but the imitative faculty
is ready made to his hands. No skill can make
the blackbird talk like the starhng, or the spar-
row warble like the woodlark.

Man is, for the most part, an um-eflective, un-
manageable animal, who lives chiefly for himself.
His passions ripen before liis reason ; and whe-
ther married or single, he cares little for the
hereditary excellence of his race. He lets the
tide roll in, and find what shore it may. Here
and there an individual, of mature thinking,
will look well to the disposition and character of
the future mother of his children ; well knowing
that his ofispring will bear testimony to the root
they spring from. But the majority of us go on
ploughing the rocks, careless as to the harvest ;
and thus it is, that in the world of matrimony we
have contrived to keep up, as we have done,
" the reign of chaos and old night."

To understand fully the character of Sir Felix


Clavering, it is necessary to have some acquaint-
ance with the stock from which he descended.
We need not carry our researches very far back- -
wards. His family was not one which flings its
lustre far behind. Certain individuals of it had
followed very successfully in Fortune's wake.
His grandfather, Mr. Edward Clavering, was
wealthy, and kept his coach at a time when that
appendage conferred dignity, and when the ap-
pearance of it excited awe in the villages for miles
round. His country mansion was approached
through a pair of massive iron gates, which de-
livered the visitor into a fine square of turf,
divided by a broad pavement, and adorned at
each corner with an antique statue, which, if it
did but little honour to the stone-cutter, gave the
tout-ensemble an air of magnificence ; a magni-
ficence which served to measure the distance be-
tween the clods of the earth and '' the revered
and ruptured owner ;" for unhappily both those
epithets applied to him, although Mr. Canning,
had he lived in that day, might have been too
humane to have taunted him with their twofold


Old Squire Clavering had been, in his younger
days, an inveterate fox-hunter. He had been
left a widower in the sixth year of his reign. I
say of his reign ; for his will, as a husband, was
law. His maxim on domestic government was
that he had no objection to be ruled, but he
would not be overruled. This compromise
secured him a strict obedience on all points upon
which he thought proper to exact it. His love
of festivity, and what he called good-fellowship,
was extreme. He rode the best of horses, gave
the best of dinners, and could boast the best of
wines. These enjoyments were costly, but of
this he made no account. He possessed a robust
constitution, the recompense of exercise and
early rising, and had reached the autumn of life
without losing much of that vigour which dis-
tinguished him in the green leaf.

But on a sudden the sunlight was overcast.
A chancery suit of thirty years' duration most
unexpectedly ended in a decree in favour of his
adversary. The costs, which fell upon him, in
addition to the heavy advances he had made to
his different solicitors — for death had summoned


away three in tlic progress of the suit —
amounted to a sum far beyond his immediate
abihty to discharge. His mansion and estates
were advertized for sale ; but happily for his
future peace, he died before they were brought
to the hammer. When the executors came to
balance their accounts, it was found that the
lawyer's bill had barely left enough to pay his
funeral expences, and the cost of his tombstone.
His only son, Mr. George Clavering, was at
this time pursuing his studies at the grammar
school at Maidstone. Destined to the church,
he was qualifying himself, in the usual way, for
the cure of souls. His mental developement
was not very conspicuous ; he had, however,
made a tolerable proficiency in the Latin and
Greek classics, than which nothing could better
fit him for a teacher of righteousness. There
was, moreover, another kind of knowledge in
which he was extremely well versed. He was
thoroughly informed as to the patrons of all the
best benefices ; he knew, to a fraction, the worth
of every valuable rectory in the kingdom, and
in whose gift they respectively were ; there was


no source of clerical emolument, appertaining to
tlie metropolitan clergy, with which he was un-
acquainted. He had the ecclesiastical dues at
his finger's ends. If his studies were not Zion-
ward, they were toward the arch-diocese of Can-
terbury, which, to his view, was quite as pro-
mising a prospect. He bore the loss of his
father with becoming resignation ; but the loss
of his father's fortune — this was an event for
which the world offered no consolation. That
such a cloud should burst upon his devoted
head, at a time too when he was so ill prepared
for it, was one of those decrees of Providence
to which it took his reason a long while to be
reconciled. Happily he had a small property of
his own, which had descended to him in right of
his mother ; which, though not to be called an
independence, was enough to enable him, with
his flexible propensities and prudential habits,
to keep his head above water.

It luckily fell out that while he was thus
busied in the interests of religion and learning,
a Maidstone fellowship in University College
became vacant, which he had the good fortune


to obtain. Here he cultivated the goodwill of
his most influential associates, whose facetious
stories he always laughed at, and was never seen
to gape at their twentieth repetition. Among
the companions of his studies he had always
contrived to find favour with those young men
of rank whose parents were of most note. He
had a certain camelionism in his composition
which readily took the hue of all around him.
He was '^ all things to all men." In addition
to this, he could carve well, take off a full glass
gracefully, abounded in anecdote, and was a
good whist-player.

These convivial quahties, which he inherited
from his father, were never indulged at his own
cost. If they sometimes forced him into an ex-
pence not exactly squaring with his finances,
this deviation into extravagance did not proceed
from any forgetfulness of the rule of right.
Quite the contrary. It was the result of calcu-

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